Global investment research firm predicts this country will win the World Cup

“The most important of all unimportant predictions” is how investment research firm BCA Research described its predictions for the 2022 FIFA World Cup which kicks off next month in Qatar.

But for a certain South American country, winning the championship is a national obsession. And those citizens will be delighted with what BCA has to say.

Argentina will win the World Cup against Portugal in the final, according to the firm’s logic. The reasoning ? There is a high probability that the final game will end in a penalty shootout, and Argentina have a historical advantage in both experience and success.

If true, it would mean two of the greatest players in the world, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, will go head-to-head on the pitch.

“Choosing between Messi and Ronaldo is like choosing between Mozart and Beethoven or Da Vinci and Michelangelo – it’s less a matter of objective analysis and more a matter of taste,” the BCA researchers wrote. “Relying on cold digital logic and hard data is no better.”

Apart from a potential penalty shootout advantage, the researchers said Argentina haven’t lost a game since July 2019, so they enter the World Cup as ‘the hottest team’.

For the record, neither Messi nor Ronaldo have won a World Cup.

BCA came to the conclusion that Argentina would win based on what it called “a unique two-step model combining macro and micro variables as well as our own variables.” football” which includes the exploitation of a database of player statistics from the FIFA video game simulation. The researchers started by predicting the group stage matches using data such as the team’s average player rating and the team’s past performance. Then they moved on to the knockout rounds, using similar calculations, while including variables such as the “winner’s curse” – the historical unlikelihood of a team repeating themselves as champions. This means that France were penalized in the calculation of the numbers due to their World Cup championship in 2018.

But, still, the victory of Argentina is only a prediction. And predictions are never certain.

“How confident are we of our choice for the winner? Although we are happy with our choice, Argentina will face many close matches throughout the knockout stage, with the final being essentially a draw,” the BCA researchers wrote. “So their probability of winning the cup is only 7%, even as favourites.”

Predicting the outcome of the World Cup is a relatively new tradition for BCA. His first attempt dates back to 2018,

when its researchers predicted – wrongly – that Spain would win.

Since then, BCA has added new variables to its calculation and tweaked its methodology and broader analysis. The effort is meant to be a fun and much-needed break for researchers of global economic issues.

“We hope this report provides much-needed respite from the bear market in risky assets, furiously hawkish central banks, decades-high inflation, and war in Ukraine,” BCA writes in the report.

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